As you may have heard, April was not a good month for jobs. According to the latest Labor Department report, a mere 266,00 jobs were added during the month, falling far short of the predicted one million. It also doesn’t add much to the two million jobs that Biden promised to add to the economy by his first 100 days in office, which is now past.
Naturally, many have now begun to question the why behind those results.
And it is the usual explanation.
As you can imagine, high unemployment levels usually arise when there are few jobs in the workforce. But in 2021, that’s not exactly the case. In fact, according to March’s jobs report, there was a record-high of 8.1 million jobs available in America. And yet, only a month later, not even 300,000 of those had been filled, not to mention the thousands more made available.
So if jobs are, in fact, open just about everywhere, why aren’t people taking them?
Well, it appears that far too many Americans have learned that sitting on their butt pays more than going back to work, thanks to federal emergency unemployment benefits doled out due to the COVID-19 pandemic. They are essentially be paid to sit at home, and they know it.
But states, now eager to rebuild their workforce and their economy, have started catching on. And as a result, they are cutting ties with the federal programs to re-incentivize their citizens to go back to work.
Florida, for example, is now the 23rd state in recent weeks to withdraw from the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation program, which hands those who are unemployed an additional $300 a week on top of any state-level benefits they receive.
Unemployed Americans in states like Florida have been earning about $330 a week or about $32,000 annually thanks to the federal program. It is noted that this is nearly twice as much as they would be making if they were to obtain a minimum wage job.
Florida, along with states like Montana, Texas, and others, has recognized that while giving these people extra money was needed to make ends meet during the worst of the pandemic, it is now a hindrance to re-entering the workforce helping to rebuild our already stretched economy.
Florida’s Department of Economic Opportunity announced the recent decision, saying that the cut in federal funding would begin on June 27, according to Fox Business. However, the state would still make sure to cover the expenses of unemployed freelance workers and others who are all too often excluded from typical unemployment benefits.
And already, it seems the plan is working in the Sunshine State.
As News 13 reporter Nicole Griffen tweeted on Tuesday, “At Oceanside Bar and Grill, the owner shared job applications are pouring in after the governor’s announcement yesterday that federal pandemic unemployment benefits will come to an end June 26th.”
Before this, it was noted that some desperate employers were even resorting to paying potential job applicants to just sit for an interview.
Now, it is noted by WPTV-TV that with the summer months nearly here and tourism season beginning in earnest, the state is already finding ways to decrease unemployment and so the need for federal or state jobless benefits, the latter of which top out at $275.
Republican Governor Ron DeSantis and others such as Texas’s Greg Abbott have made it clear that they want their states back open and running business as usual, not that they shut their citizens in or out of work for nearly as long or in such restrictive ways as some Democratic states. And their states are now better off for it.
People are finally getting back to their lives. They are working; they are sending their kids to school. And they are able to enjoy the fruits of an economy that is not being hindered by excessive shutdowns, socialistic mask mandates, or, now, incentives that keep them lazy and living off the system.
Kudos to DeSantis and others who recognize the real needs of the people and not just what their party dictates.